No More Than 2!
Screen time, whether the television, computer, smart phone or video games, is one of the largest contributors to childhood and adult obesity. Several studies have also linked excessive screen time to lower literacy rates in children of all ages and language delays among children less than 2 years of age.
The first 2 years of life are considered a critical time for brain development. TV and other electronic media can interfere with time to explore, play and interact with others; activities which are vital to encourage learning, as well as healthy physical and social development.
Research has identified children 8-18 years spend an average of over 7 hours per day in front of a screen (outside of school work). Meanwhile, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends children under 2 years of age not watch any TV (or screen) and the rest of us should limit our screen time to less than 2 hours a day (outside of school and work).
Scale back on screen time by practicing the following:
- Keep TVs and computers out of bedrooms.
- Turn TVs off and ban smart phone usage during mealtime.
- Don’t allow children to watch TV while doing homework.
- Allow screen time (no more than a total of 2 hours/day) AFTER home work and chores are completed.
- Substitute with playing outside, a trip to the beach, card or board games and reading books.
- Lead children/ grandchildren by example; limit your own screen time.
Before you know it, you will be spending less time in front of a screen and you will be surprised with the extra time you have to enjoy other aspects of your life! Begin your “No More Than 2” challenge today! To track your progress, go to www.95210.org/Collier.
“2”, or the recommendation to limit to no more than 2 hours of screen time daily, is part of the “9–5–2–1–0 BFF, Let’s Go!” campaign recommended by physicians, dietitians, nurses, fitness experts and other healthcare practitioners in partnership with the Safe & Healthy Children’s Coalition of Collier County. Each week, a different number will be highlighted as the Coalition reaches out to educate the community about this important public health message. For more information, go to www.95210.org/Collier.
Special thanks to the Collier County Health Department for taking the lead on promulgating the 95210 message and to Team Wellness Challenge, L3C, a partner of Whole Child Leon and Working Well located in Tallahassee, Florida, for allowing us to use their wonderful 95210 tracking system.